Multiple pulses of swell this week from the SE with a bit of long range action on the radar

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 8th August)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr) 

  • Fast rising directional S swell favouring NENSW Mon
  • More solid S swell Tues/Wed with mod/fresh SW-S winds
  • Better angled SSE swell Thurs, easing Fri with light winds
  • Small leftovers this weekend with W’ly winds
  • Small, long range E swell Mon, peaking Tues next week, easing into Wed
  • Tracking long range for potential low pressure or trough development in Coral Sea/South Pacific, check back Wed


Nothing much to recap over the weekend, small surf both days with Saturday seeing a small amount of E swell offering up some 1-2ft sets in the a’noon. Sunday dropped right back with only tiny surf from the SE in the 1ft range. Today has seen directional short-range S swell build quickly with 3-4ft surf across NENSW, and 2-3ft surf getting north of the Border, 3ft at a S swell magnet on the Southern Gold Coast. There’s plenty of surf expected this week from a slow moving low near New Zealand. Details below. 

Rapid rise in short range S swell today

This week (Aug 8-12)

The building blocks are now in place for an active  week of surf from the SE. A complex, multi-centred low is stationed over New Zealand with a strong (1029hPa) high located equidistant between Tasmania and the South Island offering excellent cradling support for the low. A high pressure cell over the interior moves SE tomorrow to re-inforce the oceanic high.Several juicy fetches will send swell across the Tasman this week, with S’ly winds on hand until mid-week. 

In the short run and the current directional S swell holds  through tomorrow, with continuing fresh S’lies that will tend SW inshore early across most of far Northern NSW and Southern Gold Coast. Expect size in the 3-4ft range across S exposed NENSW breaks, smaller 2ft in SEQLD.

Wednesdays sees the current inland high move over the South Coast with a weakening ridge. That will see mod/fresh S’ly winds lay down through the day and tend lighter S’ly in the a’noon. A morning SW land breeze is on the cards,  especially far Northern NSW and Southern Gold Coast. S swell gets overlapped by better quality, muscular SSE-SE swell as the fetch of SE winds in the Tasman actually slingshots NW back into the Tasman through late Mon/Tues with size in the 4-6ft range across NENSW, smaller 3ft at S facing beaches in SEQLD.

Thursday looks the best bet for quality waves this week. The high moves out over the near Tasman Sea, weakening and spreading out as it does so, creating an environment of weak pressure gradients along the NSW and QLD sub-tropical  coast. That should see light W to WSW winds tending to SE breezes in the a’noon. Nicely angled mid period SE swell holds in the 3-5ft range with a pulse of better angled E/SE swell from a Cook Strait fetch joining the party in the a’noon. 

By Friday we’ll be on the back-side of the Tasman Sea swell pulses although with plenty of leftover energy. That should see surf in the 3-4ft range, easing during the day. Winds look OK, with a low approaching from the Bight seeing winds swing NE in the a’noon after a morning land breeze as the high continues to migrate E across the Tasman.  Pretty typical wind regime for this time of year. 

This weekend (Aug 13-14)

Not a great deal of action this weekend- but there should be some rideable options- with Sat seeing some fun small leftovers in the 2-3ft range, easing through the day. Expect NW winds to shift W’ly through the day as the low moves towards the Tasman Sea.

Sunday looks a little more interesting with continuing W’ly winds as the low now shifts E of Bass Strait to be off the Gippsland Coast during Sun morning. An E’ly to E/NE’ly infeed into this low reaching up into the Coral Sea does offer up some mid period E swell potential for Sun, likely in the 2ft range, although the expected instability surrounding this system does lend low confidence to the call. Make sure you check back Wed as finesse size and timing. It does look like a fun rideable wave for Sun though under W’ly winds.

Next week (Aug 15 onwards)

As mentioned above we are looking at an unstable Tasman Sea next week with models offering up some juicy prognoses charts, although we are still a ways away from being able to make any definitive calls.

Mon and Tues are likely to maintain the small levels of E swell from fetches infeeding into the low, with W’ly winds. There’s still model divergence about the position and strength of the low so expect some fairly major revision as we move through the week. 

Also in the mix will be some long range E swell from a monster tradewind fetch in Tahitian longitudes this week, enhanced by a tropical low early this week. Travel distance will shave off most of the size but we should see some more muscular 2ft+ sets Mon, with some 3ft sets Tues. Expect long, long waits for these sets and long slow periods. Stray sets should carry over into Wed.

From mid next week things get very interesting. If the low moves out into the Tasman we’ll be looking at a nice pulse of S swell from Wed, into Thurs.

Certain model runs show the low merging with a long trough line between New Caledonia and the North Island, with potential for a very broad infeed of gales into that trough line from a strong high east of New Zealand. That would see quality E’ly groundswell possibly arriving next weekend. 

Check back Wed and we’ll see how that scenario is playing out. 


Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut Monday, 8 Aug 2022 at 7:04pm

Yeeew get those quivers ready.
Time for some beng bengs!